As my firstborn son, Ryan, prepared for his marriage this summer, I vowed to write a letter to him, to give to him the night before the wedding. I wanted to let him know what a gift he was to so many people, and what he meant to me and his father. I wanted to tell him what I loved about him and what I saw in his character that made me so proud. As I planned this letter, I realised that I also wanted write a letter to his bride, to let her know how much we loved her and how we were so happy that our son felt so loved by her, and how happy she made him. I wanted to welcome her into our family (even though she had been a part of our family for the previous 4 years).
As Julie updated her blog a few days before the wedding, I realised in a panic that I had not written the letters. I was so grateful that the timing was so perfect and that I would not forget to write the letters. I gathered up my paper and envelopes to put pen to paper. As I wrote the letters in the calm of early afternoon on the day before the wedding, my heart was bursting with emotions. It was quiet and I was able to sit with my thoughts and transcribe them straight from my heart.
It took me through my son’s life from my pregnancy with him, his birth, his growing up years, and truly allowed me to remember so many of his characteristics and times in his life that brought all the blessings into my heart in one space in time. How much I love this wonderful being and how proud I was of how much love he has for people and is very happy to show it. The caring, gentle and ferocious way he shows in loving, and respecting his bride.
I felt blessed to have the opportunity to write and I felt blessed to have a friend like Julie, bringing many gifts into my life including The Letter Writing Revolution.
I had great trouble delivering the letters in the “busyness” of the last minute wedding preparations. I was not able to catch up with Ryan on the eve of the wedding, as I had originally planned. I was now hesitant to give him the letter on the day of the wedding as I knew it might be emotional for him, in his already emotional high. I wondered if I should wait until after the wedding.
The men were using our hotel room to get ready, so I dashed to the room and Ryan was there alone with his father. I gave him the letter and said that he could read it now but that he might want to read it later and that it was okay for him to read it when he felt ready.
He chose to read it there. It was so emotional for both of us and I repeated that he could finish it later if it was too much. Our emotions were running high as he was so close to marrying the love of his life, and I was so close to watching my firstborn son take his wife and make his very own family. He wanted to finish the letter and said that is was good to read the letter and let some of his emotions flow over – it was a stress release for him. When he finished reading the letter we hugged and he said he felt very calm and everything was so very clear for him now. He felt so loved and so confident and he would treasure the letter for always.
I was able to give Ryan’s bride-to-be her letter as the mothers and girls in the bridal party gathered in the bridal suite to depart to the hairdressers on morning of the wedding. She read the letter at the desk in the room and came to find me after in the sitting room of the suite. As we hugged she said how touched she was by a handwritten letter and that I would take the time to write to welcome her into our family and say lovely things about her. As the photographer moved around with the girls as they got ready for the wedding, she noticed the letter open on the desk and took a picture of it. When we reviewed the photos a couple of weeks ago, I saw the picture and it brought back all the memories of that beautiful day and filled me with the love that was all around everyone on that day.
Ryan tucked both letters into their memory box along with many other treasures from their amazing “rite of passage”, the words and meanings etched in their hearts forever.
I will always treasure the memory of writing the letters and be thankful for the opportunity to let my feelings flow from my heart, through my pen onto timeless pages, to be re-read whenever……
I will always remember that it was this blog that was the gift to inspire me to write these two very special letters. Thank you, Julie. It inspired another letter writing episode for myself and for all three of my children just a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I will write about that soon, too…….
Thank you, Susan, for a beautiful guest post. Yes, I encourage you to write again as I think your latest letter writing experience will inspire many.